How Minneapolis Cuts Crime With “Predictive Policing”


In its own version of “predictive policing,” Minneapolis police believe that everyone, even criminals, are creatures of habit, says the Minneapolis Star Tribune. With enough information about past crimes, it’s possible to forecast their future target. “We usually look at the last week and say, ‘This is what happened in the last week,'” said Police Chief Tim Dolan. “Well we’ve added to that, saying, ‘This is what we think’s going to happen next week.'”

Dolan says analying crime statistics to discern trends already has paid off in two areas that led the city last year in reducing overall crime rates. The strategy looks slightly different everywhere it’s used, but predictive policing relies mainly on a police department’s ability to accumulate deep databases of crime information that detail time, location, methods, and numerous other bits of revealing data. Crunched by a computer analyst, the numbers reveal patterns.

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